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NHS - Have you had your Covid 19 Staff Risk Assessment?

(28 Posts)
FannyCann Fri 21-Aug-20 22:36:27

Feeling pretty cross about this.
Managers are calling staff in to do their personal assessment.
It's a 7 page document.
Starts with Age, deduct 5 for gender female. (Yes, I know, and as I got exasperated I pointed out it should be sex not gender but let's leave that for now).
Then add scores for a list of variables:
Ethnicity (different scores for different ethnicities, eg black = 6, Asian = 4)
BMI (30-34.9 = 4, 35-39.9 = 5, 40+ = 10)
Then a long list of co-mordities eg Asthma, diabetes, and lots of others with varying scores to add on.

Comes up with your individual score which is then categorised to various Covid 19 "Age" and risk levels with advice and recommendations for each band of risk level.

I work in a small team. We are nearly all approaching retirement age and some have other factors and it means of six of us only one is low risk. She is now the only one who is allowed to do any of the aerosol generating procedures which amount to about 30% of our work! Or work with any Covid +ve or suspected patients.

We are being advised that as we fall in the moderate risk group, (the next band above low risk) we should avoid AGP or covid +ve patients. We could insist on continuing to work as normal (obviously using PPE, as we have done throughout) but we have to sign to say we have discussed it with our manager and are going against advice. If we refuse to do the work we may be redeployed to a low risk area.

As I pointed out to my manager, I'm not particularly concerned for myself - I've managed to survive exposure without being infected so far, we have strict procedures in our department and I feel safe. The point (for me) is that this isn't just about our department, there is a hospital to run, patients to treat, and this must be happening NHS wide. They can't redeploy everyone to a low risk area. How can we be expected to sign our rights away?

I know staff at a neighbouring tertiary referral centre who have had their assessment. I assume this is happening NHS wide.

So have you had your assessment and how is it being handled?

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Cloudburstagain Fri 21-Aug-20 23:25:09

Sounds interesting.
As a teacher no points based risk assessment - my school said it is low risk with adaptations ( such as hand gel and hand washing when not in a class and using stairs not lifts) thus all staff who are ECv have to be back with no PPE or cleaning in the day. Obviously no tested positive Covid people, but poor ventilation, no SD as such and over a hundred pupils a day taught.

Just interested in how in NHS it is done. Like the points based system.

user1471439240 Fri 21-Aug-20 23:31:48

alama.org.uk/covid-19-medical-risk-assessment/

MsWonderful Fri 21-Aug-20 23:38:35

Yes I’d be annoyed about this too. They’re basically asking you to sign to say that if you get Covid then it’s your own fault for not avoiding your work and/or asking to be redeployed. As usual in the NHS, it will come down to lack of any extra staff to make this practicable.

FannyCann Fri 21-Aug-20 23:44:56

Thanks User. Thats interesting.
My issue is how it's being utilised. The NHS will employ many, many people who fall into one of the increased risk groups. Clearly the higher risk groups deserve protection. But there is an NHS to run! Those of us in the moderate group may, like myself, be willing and able to continue to make our contribution, and keep the wheels turning. But we should not be expected to do agree to do this at our own risk against management advice.

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FannyCann Fri 21-Aug-20 23:49:10

Exactly MsWonderful

I am also wondering if this may impact private life insurance or income protection insurance policies. I am awaiting a reply from a friend who works in a claims dept.

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Pinkbunny2811 Fri 21-Aug-20 23:52:04

Mine was not this detailed. Feeling like I've been duped.

MsWonderful Fri 21-Aug-20 23:59:24

Also, isn’t it a bit late? If risk assessment was needed, shouldn’t it have happened prior to being exposed to the risk? I’m assuming your service has been running during the lockdown?

FannyCann Sat 22-Aug-20 00:02:22

Was that in NHS Pinkbunny2811
One of the reasons I posted - to get a feel for the level of consistency around different trusts.

The document posted by User is more detailed than ours, but largely similar scoring.

Can't really offer any advice re schools Cloudburstagain
The risk must also be variable with factors like class size, age of pupils (I'd expect teenagers to be able to maintain social distancing and stay at their desks allowing the teacher to be a safe distance for instance).
So it's a less straightforward assessment perhaps.

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FannyCann Sat 22-Aug-20 00:05:06

It's based on the latest research MsWonderful , which want available in the early stages of the pandemic, plus at the busiest period it was all hands on deck. This is a risk assessment in readiness for a second wave I suppose as well as the ongoing risks associated with the service.

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Ouchiebum Sat 22-Aug-20 00:09:57

Not being used in all nhs trusts. They’ve all been allowed to develop own risk assessments and controls so lots on inconsistency

Pinkbunny2811 Sat 22-Aug-20 02:52:24

Yes it's nhs. We are moderate risk as we have close contact with patients 🙄 I've just resigned myself to the fact that they don't care anyway

DebbieFiderer Sat 22-Aug-20 06:29:38

We've had something similar but sounds like it isn't as detailed as yours. The problem is that one of the main scores was for how likely you are to come into contact with Covid patients, which was very vague and difficult to assess 🤔 so the overall score is easy to manipulate. Anyway, I came out low risk, and would have even if I hadn't got my BMI down to under 40 beforehand (thus getting rid of my only underlying health condition) so no changes here.

mosscarpet Sat 22-Aug-20 06:43:05

nothing like that in our nhs trust. Risk assessment only really carried out for those in higher risk groups (eg over 60, increased BMI, male, BAME, health conditions, pregnant) and these groups basically met with manager and discussed working situation and adapted as needed!

FannyCann Sat 22-Aug-20 07:05:49

That's interesting mosscarpet
Daughter has a friend who supplements student income working as a facilities porter at the large tertiary referral hospital which is an adjacent trust to our own. She delivers linen and meals to the wards. She has been assessed so she knows she is cleared to visit all the areas in the hospital, cheerfully charting about the red/blue and green designated areas.
I assume they must have been doing all staff with patient contact at that trust.
Our porters have all been done, some were getting upset that they felt they weren't being offered adequate PPE but they are all wearing new PPE for each job now.
Weirdly I don't think the Doctors have been done 🤷‍♀️ I think most of the consultants I work with would fall into moderate risk by virtue of age and sex but they do specialist work and there's no one else to do it.....

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Gingernaut Sat 22-Aug-20 07:11:23

Yes.

I came out as medium risk.

Obese, over 50, asthmatic with ADD which qualifies as a neurological condition.

Can't work from home though.

FannyCann Sat 22-Aug-20 07:13:41

Well done getting your BMI down Debbie
That's odd including likelihood of contact with Covid as part of the score. That's the opposite of how ours has been done - our scores inform advice about exposure to Covid patients. That said I don't know what's being done on the wards - I work in a specialist area, patients from any/all wards brought to us, for procedures, as well as outpatients. But I see it as lower risk than wards - it's one at a time, most procedures are about half an hour, up to an hour, so it's much more limited exposure than the wards.

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FannyCann Sat 22-Aug-20 07:17:45

Can't work from home though.

Well quite. There's an NHS to run. I live in quite a white area. I imagine some trusts in some parts of the country must have a far higher proportion of at risk staff.

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TrustTheGeneGenie Sat 22-Aug-20 07:19:13

Pinkbunny2811

Mine was not this detailed. Feeling like I've been duped.

Ours was about 7 questions.

FannyCann Sat 22-Aug-20 07:32:04

So the four big ones - age, sex, ethnicity and BMI. But then there was a long list of medical conditions. The questions re diabetes were quite detailed beyond Type 1 /Type 2 but also looking at HbA1c test results.

I don't get the asthma score. There's only two categories mild and having needed steroids in the past year. This scores 4.
A colleague has quite brittle asthma and has needed steroids. She has just returned to work after shielding for the past few months. She's doing low risk work only.
On her age, sex and asthma score she'd come out low risk but she definitely isn't low risk!

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hopefulhalf Sat 22-Aug-20 07:47:05

Yes both trusts I work for, very similar document for both. Shouldn't those at increased risk be offered the opportunity to stay safe ? Not really sure what your beef is here ?

ToTheTwees Sat 22-Aug-20 08:02:52

Mine wasn't that detailed but I don't score for anything so is probably bigger once you've scored a 'yes'.

In terms of what action is taken following the assessment, it's differed between services/roles/practitioners but we're community MH so there's more scope for flexibility. Certainly my nursing colleagues have seen patients throughout but medical team much less so, using telephone or video calls and WFH much more. I don't know how much is driven by their service leads and how much by their personal health/risk though.

FannyCann Sat 22-Aug-20 08:06:04

Of course those at risk deserve protection.
My "beef" is that many of us fall into the moderate risk group, and as said up thread
they’re basically asking us to sign to say that if we get Covid then it’s our own fault for not avoiding our work and/or asking to be redeployed. I don't want to avoid my work or be redeployed. I work in a specialist area. If the five of us who fall in the moderate risk group out of a team of six, were redeployed how would five new people who know nothing of the complex work we do magically take over the department? Of course we want to keep doing what we do. But I don't want to be told I must sign to say I'm doing this at my own risk.

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ManxRhyme Sat 22-Aug-20 08:30:37

What do you want then? For the Trust to say you have scored highly, but you MUST carry on working in your current role regardless?

Surely that misses the point of the risk assessment?

FannyCann Sat 22-Aug-20 08:54:24

I haven't scored highly. I (and most of my colleagues) am in the moderate risk group, the one above low risk, by virtue of our age. Perhaps the trust should offer all of us early retirement? Thought not. I don't expect to be asked to sign away my rights for doing my job. With a wider perspective, there will be many people across the NHS who fall in this group. It simply can't be possible for them all to be redeployed or stop doing their work. This is about trusts covering themselves if people get infected through their work. I don't think it has been adequately thought through at all and could impact life and income protection insurances.

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